Tuesday, May 3, 2011

♥Lolita: Rules & Why we need them♥

I've heard it said by many a girl that Lolita has too many rules. Or that they can't understand why we need the rules to begin with. Thus, this post was born.

While it's very true that the world of Lolita is rot with "laws", "rules" and "guidelines" that some people may find "repressing" It is also a lovely place full of artistic freedom. How is a world both repressing and freeing?

...Allow me to elaborate.

First, let me make a point of the fact that the rules of lolita are not meant to tell you what to wear. But rather, to tell you if what you wear IS lolita. And if these "rules" did not exist, then the beauty and integrity of the fashion would be diminished. For instance, if lolita could be made of any material , if it could be made any length, if it could be less elegant, then would you feel the same way about the fashion? Certainly not. A dress with lace and bows is not necessarily lolita. Take these two picture for example. Both have lace, a gothic lolita color scheme, and full skirts. But these are in no way lolita. Remember, lolita has no rules that say your dress should have lace, bows, frills, etc. So those factors alone are not qualifiers for lolita fashion.
~~~~~~↑↑↑Not lolita↑↑↑~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~↑↑↑Not lolita↑↑↑~~~~~~~~

 But the "laws" that shape the fashion do not shape the people that wear it. Lolita has so many sub-styles, colors, and themes that almost anyone could find something they like, while still following the guidelines. And many girls find wonderful ways of expressing themselves within this medium. Lolita can very much be a reflection of who you are, if who you are corresponds with the philosophies and ideas that bred this unusual fashion. It's important to remember that even the fashions and time periods that influenced lolita had strict laws about what is and is not acceptable. And, more often than not, the people who like lolita fashion are more than willing to follow it's guidelines, because they can be very helpful for achieving your desired look. In many ways, rules are a lolita's best friend. They make understanding and reaching our doll-like goals much easier. But if you still find the rules too strict, then there are many alternative fashions that will suit your personality. As much as we may not want to believe it, lolita is strict. Some people find that aspect of lolita attractive and interesting, some people like to follow the rules and be part of this fashion. Still, many do not. The important thing to remember is that you should wear what makes you happy. Lolita makes me happy, I'm okay with the rules. But if your not, it isn't the only great style out there. There's something for everyone.

These are only just a few basics to keep in mind:

1.The length of your lolita skirt/dress should be no more than one or two inches above the knee.

2. Fishnets, corsets, and (Please excuse the crude term I'm using for lack of a better word)"stripper boots" don't suit this fashion at all. And can give off a very fetish-like feel.

3.Nothing low-cut should be worn in this fashion. Cleavage doesn't exactly give off that child-like charm we're aiming for.

4.The material commonly used in lolita fashion is cotton. No scratchy or shiny fabric should be used. It can look costume-ish.

5.You shouldn't ever let your petticoat show. It should be one or two inches shorter than your skirt/dress.

6.You MUST wear bloomers. It's not a matter of comfort, but rather a matter of modesty. And is a necessary part of this fashion.

7. It's proper to wear a blouse under your jsk, or a cardigan over it. I've seen lolitas that don't do this, and I doubt that anyone will cut your head off for it. But it always looks a a little better in my mind.

8.While there are set rules on how your dress must not be shorter than 1 or 2 inches above the knee, the rules about how long your dress can be are a little less clear. As far as I can tell, your dress can be up to mid-calve while still maintaining it's childish charm. But when you make it-say around the ankle length, it starts to look like inaccurate Victorian costumes. Also, keep in mind that dresses and skirts that come up to mid-calve can make you look a little shorter, so wearing shoes with a slightly longer heel might counter act that.

9. Though some would argue that as a lolita you do not necessarily need to be proper or even kind, I find the image of an adorable lolita cursing and behaving inappropriately a ghastly sight indeed. No, I should hope that a lolita would take the time to consider the basic rules of manners every person should put to practice. Please remember that as a lolita, you are the face of this fashion. And people will most likely judge it solely on the way you present yourself.

If you'd like a more in-depth look at etiquette and manners, then this fascinating article is a great source of info.


  1. I agree with most of what you're saying, but the rules you're saying we SHOULD follow are often far too strict! Corsets can be perfectly lolita and were worn by women in the fashions we're emulating, and fishnets can be perfect for punk. We're not trying to dress like children, so when you keep saying 'child-like' it grates on me a little as we're lolitas, not ageplayers! Most lolitas I know don't wear bloomers, and it's not like anyone would know. Plus the skirts are longer which is surely more modest anyway, and in the Rococo era they didn't wear any underwear at all! And as for being polite? EVERYONE should do that, whether lolita or not. We're all people afterall and shouldn't behave differently based on what we're wearing xP

  2. I agree actually! I am lolita and I wear punky dresses and such. I actually wear a leather skirt A LOT with fishnets and a corset~! I look pretty good yet lolita-ish... There for I dont care for these rules. People have said AND I QOUTE "Are YOU LOLITA". My answer is YES!! I also wear long pretty victorian stuff as LOLITA FASHION!there for for anyone who reads this blog~! Feel free to add your own style just dont go to over board!!

  3. Im looking into becoming a lolita so i am doing research on the topic and I think my parents would like that I am more modest with my clothing considering the "fashion" that is everywhere now a days. I think that we should all dress more modestly so that males don't like us for how we look but how we act

  4. i agree with the majority of these but nobody has the right to tell someone that they HAVE to do something. like, nobody can see bloomers unless you show them so that isn't exactly compulsory. and sometimes, bloomers can be expensive so a cheaper alternative is cycling shorts. it's more comfortable to have an extra layer underneath in case you need to adjust your petticoat. personally, i disagree with the whole 'no petticoat showing' thing because, depending on your height, dresses and petticoats can come to different lengths on different people. not everyone has the money to order dresses tailored to their height so they just have to put up with the lengths.

    generally, i'm polite and present myself well. it is only when i'm with my close friends that we let loose a little. overall, i think i'm okay.

    but just one thing; i hate how you say 'child-like'. it isn't actually supposed to be completely childlike. that makes it sound like a fetish.

  5. It's funny that there is so much emphasis on these particular rules. I have seen this iteration many times and it seems to be a very commonly cited list. These rules inevitably impede on a specific Lolita style simply due to the fact that there are so many variations. I think that a slightly different version could be more all-inclusive. (1) the goal of Lolita is to appear doll-like. This doesn't necessarily call out any age category. The point is to aim for perfection in whatever style calls to you. That means attention to detail on everything. From your hair and makeup to your garments and accessories. A good lolita coord isn't born a day. It's like an art form, so take your time and intentional (2) Quality materials. Lolita is not a cosplay and the materials should reflect this. Although not everyone can afford top brand, it is not difficult to avoid cheap looking materials. Cotton, broadcloth and chiffon are good go-to fabrics but a soft polyester is ok too. Sadly, shiny brocade fabrics are included in the don'ts list. Avoid plastic-y lace and costume/rough knock off fabrics. Don't you wanted to be comfortable? (3) Conservative is key. A common thread between all Lolita styles is being conservative. This means no intentional cleavage (busty ladies can't help it, and that's ok as long as we try). Skirts more that 2" above the knee are too short. If you have a super cute dress that you want to wear as lolita but it's too short, find a complimenting/matching longer skirt and layer it :) i really don't think there should be a "too long" rule considering period styles vary so greatly in length. Most ladies wear something that allows for their cute shoes and socks to be seen. (5) Wear shorts for the sake of the modesty theme. The bloomer thing I think is interpreted incorrectly. Bloomers are a great detail to make the outfit feel authentic but any shorts underneath would be ok. The assumption is that you don't want to have your bare stockings or legs under your petticoat. But honestly, as it was said before, nobody will check. And please don't adjust your petticoat in public.(6) if you are going to dress like a lady, please act like a lady. You don't have to act submissive or like a little girl. We aren't cosplayers or fetish girls. But given that Lolita is a very specific look that non-lolitas will see as one lump group, let's not make a bad impression for the sake of the community.

    That being said, this is just my interpretation and I'm sure there are many others. My best recommendation for those who are learning, is to ask your fellow senior Lolitas for help and find someone you trust who is kinda to give you advice. Be aware that not everything cute is Lolita, and the general rules should be abided by as best as possible. But don't go broke or b drive yourself crazy trying to follow every nuance of the fashion. This is supposed to be fun! And don't be scared to ask questions. For the ladies who have been doing this a long time, be respectful and helpful to others. You are the knowledge keepers and helping others understands the rules is important. Lack of empathy and shaming are not lady like so avoid the harshness. Offering picture examples, research resources, or even shopping help is a great bonding experience and helps us to grow as a community. ❤❤❤

    *Throws flower petals in the air* Love your sisters! *dances away*